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Author Topic: Explaining Christian "Spiritual Gifts"  (Read 16530 times)
Aaron330
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« on: April 25, 2014, 18:38:50 »

Since coming out of Christianity last year, I've thought alot about things that have happened spiritually that I cannot sometimes explain adequately. I've always been a critically thinking person, so I find myself mulling over past events that have happened in church "revivals" and such, and I was wondering if anyone here had some good explanations for these things. As a disclaimer, I'll just say that even as a Christian I knew that 95% of the time these things happened they were faked by people. But almost everything that's abused and overdone in Christianity has its root in something real that happened. I'll list them below.

1. When I was young we had a "healing revival" and multiple times I saw someone get hands laid on them and fly backwards over 2-3 rows of chairs. I also saw someone stuck to the wall once with their feet out 8 inches off the ground.
2. Being "slain in the spirit". I've had it genuinely happen one time where I was prayed for and felt a surge of power come through me, and I wasn't able to stand and needed someone to catch me. 95% of the time I've seen this (just about every Sunday most of my life) I know it is fake, a-la Benny Hinn, and people are just pretending so they can feel holy or something. But it really does happen sometimes.
3. Feeling "the anointing" or "the glory". I've known a few men who carried such a strong "anointing" or "presence of God" as we call it, that when they walk into the room you can feel the atmosphere shift even if you aren't looking. One time I was in a meeting where "the glory" fell so hard that everybody was down under its power. Nobody could stand or get up for about 10 minutes as it felt so "thick". I remember feeling powerless and overwhelmed by it, although it was a phenomenal feeling of course.
4. Speaking in tongues. Against 95% of the time I've hard it, its just mumbo jumbo people are making up. But on one occasion when I was about 13 my dad spoke in tongues and about 10 Spanish speaking people in our congregation heard him in what they called "perfect Spanish" prophesying to them. I have no way of explaining how or why this happened.
5. One time the "anointing" was so heavy during worship that what looked like a literal bolt of lightening flashed across the front of the auditorium. I still remember it vividly, and its still crazy to think about.
6. Demonic possession. I sort of understand this better from reading about the astral, but I still need more of an explanation of it. When casting demons out, usually what we would do is speak in tongues, or say the name "Jesus" to the spirit, both of which would cause the person to cover their ears and scream saying "Stop doing that!! AAHH". Then we would command it to leave in Jesus' name and the person would throw up, and then roll over with this glossy-eyed look and say "what happened? where am I?"

You can see how these kinds of experiences would strongly reinforce your religion in your mind. These kinds of things happening routinely to Pastors and Christians around the world only solidify the fact that everything they believe is true. My dad for example, would never even give me the time of day to listen to what I believe now. He gives me this concerned look and cuts me off at the very beginning and says "You need to be careful son, you're worrying me" As if to say "there's no chance I'm wrong about what I believe, so clearly you've lost your way, and that worries me". And that is only when I talk to him about Christian theology I disagree with...If I told him what I really believe about spirituality, he would start an all night prayer-vigil for me and have people across the globe reaching out to "Bring me back into the Kingdom of God". So needless to say, I'm never going to have that conversation with him.

My explanation for some of this is simply the fact that thought is primary energy, and when you get a room full of people that believe strongly in something, some crazy cool $#!7 can happen. The other explanation I have is that these "men of God" who carry such a strong "anointing" with them really, really love God with all their heart, and they are very good people. Love is the highest vibration, and some sects of Christianity are all about Loving God and Loving people, which is a great way to live your life. Science has discovered that we all emit an energy field based on our emotional state. Carrying this high vibration of Love can probably lead to an aura of energy that others can feel around you. I can remember times in my life where my heart would be so full of love for everyone and every thing that I would feel like I was about to burst open. I would pray for healing for people randomly on the streets and it was wonderful. So I'm sure this can cause people to feel an energy around you that they would call "the presence of God". Which I suppose, is an accurate term for it.

So ex-Christians, non-Christians, and current Christians please feel free to weigh in with your opinions. Obviously there isn't going to be just 1 right answer to anything, so it'd be nice to hear what other people think, and other experiences you've had as well.
« Last Edit: April 25, 2014, 18:44:19 by Aaron330 » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2014, 21:09:19 »

You can see how these kinds of experiences would strongly reinforce your religion in your mind. These kinds of things happening routinely to Pastors and Christians around the world only solidify the fact that everything they believe is true.
Yes, but same 'things' happen for other creeds too and they are as 'convinced' as the Christian people that it proves their religion to be the only true one. What they never think about is that while it proves some paranormal validity in 'religious' personal or (even stronger) group activity - such as praying or talking in tongues - it does not and will never prove claimed exclusivity, because similar things happen/work in a different frame or fashion for other creeds and non-believers alike. That is where their cognitive dissonance enters the stage. They don't want to hear about that fact.

My explanation for some of this is simply the fact that thought is primary energy, and when you get a room full of people that believe strongly in something, some crazy cool $#!7 can happen. The other explanation I have is that these "men of God" who carry such a strong "anointing" with them really, really love God with all their heart, and they are very good people. Love is the highest vibration, and some sects of Christianity are all about Loving God and Loving people, which is a great way to live your life. Science has discovered that we all emit an energy field based on our emotional state. Carrying this high vibration of Love can probably lead to an aura of energy that others can feel around you. I can remember times in my life where my heart would be so full of love for everyone and every thing that I would feel like I was about to burst open. I would pray for healing for people randomly on the streets and it was wonderful. So I'm sure this can cause people to feel an energy around you that they would call "the presence of God". Which I suppose, is an accurate term for it.
I think you nailed it pretty well in this paragraph. Group intent or personal intent is a strong factor. What these people then do is to put their conceptual matrix (belief system) onto what happens. E.g. if they see or feel energy it is the holy spirit, for people in Hawaii it is mana, for Hindus prana, for the Chinese Chi, and so on ...
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« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2014, 21:09:19 »

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« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2014, 00:30:56 »

Speaking in tongues is just another form of meditation whether they understand that it is or not. Many dancing rituals are forms of meditation as well. smiley
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« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2014, 00:33:27 »

Most "possession" is nothing more than mental illness. There is no "one" god.
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Aaron330
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« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2014, 01:48:58 »

Most "possession" is nothing more than mental illness. There is no "one" god.

What do you mean exactly? Do you mean "god" in the sense of the religious concept of a monarchical boss or political king of the Universe?
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« Reply #5 on: April 26, 2014, 02:38:32 »

What do you mean exactly? Do you mean "god" in the sense of the religious concept of a monarchical boss or political king of the Universe?

All of the above. Neither exist. Not yet at least.
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« Reply #6 on: April 26, 2014, 02:44:10 »

I've experienced all the same things at the Pentecostal Christian church I used to go to.  Also the sick healed and I've had my own string of faith healing miracles.  Like you said, love is the highest vibration, and anyone who has tapped into this and believes/ has intent that these phenomenon can and will occur will experience a wide variety of these spiritual gifts.  Their only mistake is believing that it's exclusive to them.  Jesus taught love and when he says 'Believe on me and the things I do, you will do also' I don't believe he was talking about a surface belief in his personality.  He was talking about a deep belief in the vibration 'love.' --So deep that it penetrates to your inner being and becomes what you are.  God is no respecter of persons.  Everyone can have this love.  It is not exclusive.
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Aaron330
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« Reply #7 on: April 26, 2014, 04:09:58 »

All of the above. Neither exist. Not yet at least.

Sorry, I phrased that poorly. What I meant was monarchical boss/Political king. Not either or lol. I do not believe that God exists either, besides for in the imagination of millions of people. The concept of "God" is ultimately unspeakable and unnameable. Transcendent far beyond our labels and ideals. I like that much better than a god who fits in my boxes Smiley
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« Reply #8 on: April 26, 2014, 04:14:18 »

Sorry, I phrased that poorly. What I meant was monarchical boss/Political king. Not either or lol. I do not believe that God exists either, besides for in the imagination of millions of people. The concept of "God" is ultimately unspeakable and unnameable. Transcendent far beyond our labels and ideals. I like that much better than a god who fits in my boxes Smiley

If ANYTHING, "god" is a race, just like "human" is. There's no way in heck one person is capable of doing everything that has been done, not even a "god".
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soarin12
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« Reply #9 on: April 26, 2014, 06:11:04 »

I do not believe that God exists either, besides for in the imagination of millions of people. The concept of "God" is ultimately unspeakable and unnameable. Transcendent far beyond our labels and ideals. I like that much better than a god who fits in my boxes Smiley

I agree with you that God is transcendent far beyond our ideals.  I know a lot of people who believe in God (including me) whose concept of God is transcendent, limitless, not in 'a box' etc.  But they use the label 'God' just to have a name to refer to in conversation.

So when someone says 'I believe in God', a lot of people automatically assume that that person has limited, boxed in thinking when that is not necessarily true.  Likewise, when someone says 'I don't believe in God' many will assume that person believes in nothing more than they can see with their eyes, which may not be necessarily true. --They could be someone like you.

I bring this up because I think it is very important to look past labels and try to see the concept beneath.  I mean, it's kind of bizarre that you and I both have a transcendent, limitless concept of 'God' but I say I believe in God and you say you don't!  That kind of thing can (and does) cause a lot of division in the world if people aren't careful to understand each other at a level deeper than labels. Religion has caused enough division in the world!
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Aaron330
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« Reply #10 on: April 26, 2014, 18:12:30 »

I agree with you that God is transcendent far beyond our ideals.  I know a lot of people who believe in God (including me) whose concept of God is transcendent, limitless, not in 'a box' etc.  But they use the label 'God' just to have a name to refer to in conversation.

So when someone says 'I believe in God', a lot of people automatically assume that that person has limited, boxed in thinking when that is not necessarily true.  Likewise, when someone says 'I don't believe in God' many will assume that person believes in nothing more than they can see with their eyes, which may not be necessarily true. --They could be someone like you.

I bring this up because I think it is very important to look past labels and try to see the concept beneath.  I mean, it's kind of bizarre that you and I both have a transcendent, limitless concept of 'God' but I say I believe in God and you say you don't!  That kind of thing can (and does) cause a lot of division in the world if people aren't careful to understand each other at a level deeper than labels. Religion has caused enough division in the world!

That's a good point. Alot of people say they don't believe in God at all when they simply mean they don't believe in the concept of God as the great Monarchical boss that religion presents him as. I actually do say that I believe in God when people ask me, I just tell my Christian friends that I don't believe in "that" God. Or that I am an atheist to their version of God. So I'm like you in that sense.

This video captures the essence of what I've come to believe pretty well.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mMRrCYPxD0I

"You are something the Universe(God) is doing, in the same way that a wave is something the whole ocean is doing"
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« Reply #11 on: April 27, 2014, 00:16:30 »

I agree with you that God is transcendent far beyond our ideals.  I know a lot of people who believe in God (including me) whose concept of God is transcendent, limitless, not in 'a box' etc.  But they use the label 'God' just to have a name to refer to in conversation.

So when someone says 'I believe in God', a lot of people automatically assume that that person has limited, boxed in thinking when that is not necessarily true.  Likewise, when someone says 'I don't believe in God' many will assume that person believes in nothing more than they can see with their eyes, which may not be necessarily true. --They could be someone like you.

I bring this up because I think it is very important to look past labels and try to see the concept beneath.  I mean, it's kind of bizarre that you and I both have a transcendent, limitless concept of 'God' but I say I believe in God and you say you don't!  That kind of thing can (and does) cause a lot of division in the world if people aren't careful to understand each other at a level deeper than labels. Religion has caused enough division in the world!

Thank you for writing what I was thinking, only you said it more precisely than I could have. Now get out of my head!!! grin
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« Reply #12 on: April 27, 2014, 00:30:33 »

Thank you for writing what I was thinking, only you said it more precisely than I could have. Now get out of my head!!! grin

Ha-Ha!  Your welcome, AZ.  Smiley
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« Reply #13 on: April 27, 2014, 00:53:25 »

Loved the video, Aaron.  Thanks for sharing!  Beautiful filming.  I have felt this 'oneness' too.
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Aaron330
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« Reply #14 on: April 27, 2014, 02:48:14 »

Loved the video, Aaron.  Thanks for sharing!  Beautiful filming.  I have felt this 'oneness' too.

You're welcome! I'm a huge fan of Alan Watts. If you want to watch a truly amazing video with his equally amazing commentary, check this one out. It's so beautiful I almost got misty eyed when I first watched it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Sv_Bv1H7BQ

While we're on the topic of paranormal activity in Christianity, has anyone ever gotten "drunk in the spirit"? It happened to me once, but I've seen it happen to many people (and many others fake it of course). Sometimes people actually just look drunk, when the "presence of God" becomes so strong on them. Other times they get the uncontrollable laughter. A few times the whole church got hit with uncontrollable laughter and it was actually pretty amazing. Talk about a highly charged energy environment.

Do other religions experience this kind of "drunkenness in the spirit"? Or is it pretty much unique to Christianity?
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« Reply #15 on: April 27, 2014, 10:11:28 »

Beautiful video!  Wow--when the whale turned on his belly.

Yeah, I was 'drunk in the spirit' and slain in the spirit once.  I never had the laughter myself but saw it hit the church about 5 times.  It is really amazing to witness and experience.

Good question about other religions and I don't know.  Would be interesting to research.
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« Reply #16 on: April 27, 2014, 20:56:05 »

Beautiful video!  Wow--when the whale turned on his belly.

Yeah, I was 'drunk in the spirit' and slain in the spirit once.  I never had the laughter myself but saw it hit the church about 5 times.  It is really amazing to witness and experience.

Good question about other religions and I don't know.  Would be interesting to research.

Well good then! Glad I'm not the only one here who can vouch that these experiences are very real and genuine in many Christian circles. Maybe I'll ask one of the mods to come offer up their opinion, as this really is something that intrigues me. I still have so much to learn about thought-energy and how the astral works, which would help explain alot of these phenomena to me I believe.
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« Reply #17 on: April 27, 2014, 22:27:30 »

Well good then! Glad I'm not the only one here who can vouch that these experiences are very real and genuine in many Christian circles. Maybe I'll ask one of the mods to come offer up their opinion, as this really is something that intrigues me. I still have so much to learn about thought-energy and how the astral works, which would help explain alot of these phenomena to me I believe.

Please don't place any extra weight on our words or opinions. We are just here trying to understand our experiences like everyone else.

In the way that the power of love can overtake a group of people so can the opposite occur. It's called mob mentality. Horrible things can and do happen when this phenomenon takes over. People will do horrible things up to and including murder but would never do anything of the sort or even consider it if they were alone. It's as if they feel that the horrible deed is somehow less wrong because there are more people to share in the blame.

Neither case is exclusive to any one group or religion. smiley
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« Reply #18 on: April 27, 2014, 23:32:20 »

Good question about other religions and I don't know.  Would be interesting to research.

Think about the native Indians dancing with drum rhythms, surrounding the shaman who under trance state performs healings. It is the same concept of collective consciousness and certain beliefs. Have you heard of Buddhist monks who can go without food and water for weeks, who can levitate few inches off the ground, etc...Also, occultists who perform spells and magic that produce results. And even without any religious beliefs, a large group of people influenced by a signle individual can start behaving out of the usual norms and start a world war (Hitler). So, it's not only the Christianity that provokes certain mass behaviors based on the preached belief. The source of any "miracles" or "supernatural" occurrences is the consciousness itself and when it involves a large group of individuals focused on one thought, it manifests it in various physical circumstances or forms.
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« Reply #19 on: April 28, 2014, 05:55:32 »

Think about the native Indians dancing with drum rhythms, surrounding the shaman who under trance state performs healings. It is the same concept of collective consciousness and certain beliefs. Have you heard of Buddhist monks who can go without food and water for weeks, who can levitate few inches off the ground, etc...Also, occultists who perform spells and magic that produce results. And even without any religious beliefs, a large group of people influenced by a signle individual can start behaving out of the usual norms and start a world war (Hitler). So, it's not only the Christianity that provokes certain mass behaviors based on the preached belief. The source of any "miracles" or "supernatural" occurrences is the consciousness itself and when it involves a large group of individuals focused on one thought, it manifests it in various physical circumstances or forms.

Yes. I guess it's pretty simple when you break it down to its basic elements. If thought is a primary energy, the more people you have focused on the same thought, the more energy is created to make it happen. The Astral responds immediately to thought energy, so if you thought about "levitating" in the astral, you would immediately. The Physical is much more dense and responds much slower, but it still responds. It just takes more thought energy. So I suppose that would explain all of the above phenomena I and others have listed. Maybe not fully and completely, but satisfactorily enough for me anyway. If I believe God is Love and His presence melts all darkness away (and I'm in a room full of people worshiping with the same belief) we will begin to feel an overwhelming Loving presence that seems to melt all of our pain and fear away. Pretty cool when you think about it that way. But pretty destructive when used in a negative way, ie Hitler and the Nazi's.
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« Reply #20 on: May 21, 2014, 05:55:03 »

I can remember times in my life where my heart would be so full of love for everyone and every thing that I would feel like I was about to burst open.

In my opinion, this is bad sometimes. Having too much love causes an imbalance. Not to mention, if you love people too much, you will get hurt by a lot of people.
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« Reply #21 on: May 21, 2014, 07:32:04 »

In my opinion, this is bad sometimes. Having too much love causes an imbalance. Not to mention, if you love people too much, you will get hurt by a lot of people.

When you grow into being able to love unconditionally, more love will often equal less hurt because you understand the human condition/frailty.  And it's true, love does open you to getting hurt, but you find you bounce back from the hurt quicker, the longer you walk that path of love.  Most people have got to be on the planet a while to see this all take shape.
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« Reply #22 on: May 21, 2014, 08:08:33 »

In my opinion, this is bad sometimes. Having too much love causes an imbalance. Not to mention, if you love people too much, you will get hurt by a lot of people.

They will hurt you if you think like a human. If you view all from a higher perspective and understand everyone's personal path, you will realize that they need to experience what they experience and your interactions were set up they way it happens, so that lessons can be learned from both sides. Whether you realize what the lesson is or you don't, that still adds to the expansion of consciousness.

I have been hurt as well, as my first instincts are my human emotions. However, when I stop and think about the person's path and the way they are, I start to understand where they are in their journey and do not judge them. Sometimes I wish certain things could happen the way I want them to, but I know that certain challenges need to be experienced and certain people are just not meant to be in my life, no matter how much I want them to be.
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« Reply #23 on: May 21, 2014, 15:17:17 »

They will hurt you if you think like a human. If you view all from a higher perspective and understand everyone's personal path, you will realize that they need to experience what they experience and your interactions were set up they way it happens, so that lessons can be learned from both sides. Whether you realize what the lesson is or you don't, that still adds to the expansion of consciousness.

I have been hurt as well, as my first instincts are my human emotions. However, when I stop and think about the person's path and the way they are, I start to understand where they are in their journey and do not judge them. Sometimes I wish certain things could happen the way I want them to, but I know that certain challenges need to be experienced and certain people are just not meant to be in my life, no matter how much I want them to be.

That's exactly it though, loving people so much that you want to pray for everyone you see... is a human emotion.
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« Reply #24 on: May 21, 2014, 17:08:41 »

That's exactly it though, loving people so much that you want to pray for everyone you see... is a human emotion.
What do the statements "Become Love" or "Move closer to Love" mean to you, AAAAAAAA? 
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